Plea Deal in the Works for Man Accused of Conspiring to Kill Prison Guard

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A plea deal is in the works for an Orangeburg man accused of conspiring to kill a South Carolina prison guard in a hit orchestrated by an inmate using an illegal cellphone.

Prosecutors said Wednesday they're hashing out a plea agreement for Sean Echols.

Echols has previously pleaded not guilty on charges including conspiring to murder a prison guard for $6,000.

Capt. Robert Johnson was a Corrections Department veteran in 2010 overseeing efforts to keep contraband like cellphones out of Lee Correctional Institution. He was shot six times early one morning at his Sumter home, and police say an inmate organized the hit using a cellphone smuggled into prison.

Johnson survived. Officials say he was the first U.S. corrections officer harmed by a hit ordered from an inmate's cellphone.


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